KEEPING IT REAL BY FRIZZY LIZZY
I worked in the field of Procurement and Contracting for almost 30 years before I retired and I enjoyed it. Most of the time, I enjoyed it. Sure, there were people and times that I would prefer to forget, but there were also those that I thought were interesting and maybe even funny.
I've always worked for private industry, government contractors, or government agencies. I tried small firms but they didn't do very well with me. It all goes back to one thing: I like to get paid.
I remember one certain company that employed me. It was very small, but it had some very nice government contracts that were sure money – if the company could perform them, and that was a big “if.”
I was their junior buyer and as such there were many skeletons in the closet of which I had no idea. Skeletons like vendors who were paid late or not paid at all, vendors crucial to the performance of the government contracts, the firm's cash flow, and my paycheck.
They used to put me on the phone because I could smooth things out between the aggrieved vendors and the people I worked for. That was no big deal to me because I had checks in-hand ready to submit with orders. What I did not know is that not every check was good and I was skating on very thin ice, as it were.
I faced some rather hostile people on the phone and that was bad enough. But when they sent me to a contractor that did high-tech painting of instrument panels and cases who was about 60 to 90 days late in payments, that was about the end for me. I was given a check and asked to take my car and go to this vendor to pick-up some parts that were critical to us getting paid. They did not tell me that he had refused to release the work three weeks before for non-payment.
This guy was not happy to see me. He was as angry as I have ever seen anyone in business. I mean to emphasize that he was really upset to the point that I feared for my personal safety! But God was with me that day. They gave me a Cashier's Cheque to pay Mr. Reynard and secure the parts.
I stayed there and served the firm well until one Friday at lunchtime when I took my paycheck to the bank upon which it was drawn. The teller told me that she would honor my payroll check but that the payroll account was devoid of funds!
I found another job within a week. It was with a large company and it paid $4,000 a year more than the one I had left.
I'll fast-forward about 15 years to a job I took with a government agency. I was in their contracts office and I was assigned to some projects with the building engineering and maintenance office. That was fun! I learned a lot about the maintenance, repair, and operation of large office buildings, from replacing the roof to landscape contracting. I loved it.
From the time that the building had opened in 1974 to the time that the story I relate here took place it was about 15 years. The workforce had grown and we had to expand the facilities to keep-up with that expansion. One of those projects was to enlarge the sewage ejector pit that was dug into the floor of the basement of the building.
The building engineer (this guy was really a draftsman and not an engineer at all) gave me a set of specifications and I sought bids from six possible contractors. When the time came, I opened the bids and awarded to the low bidder who could do the work, according to our instructions. So far, so good.
The low bidder was a mechanical contractor who in turn hired a subcontractor to do all of the excavation. The digging had to be done by hand as there was no way to get a power shovel into the basement of the building. So this contractor sends two laborers with a wheelbarrow, a pickax, and two shovels and they start to work. The building is constructed upon reclaimed swampland and the digging should be relatively easy. Or so it would seem.
One morning the guy with the pickax takes a good, hard swing at what he thinks is mud and the pick bounces off of it and flies out of his hands and goes several meters in the air!
They stop work and do a little bit of probing and after a time they determine that it's not just soft rocks like shale, and mud that they need to remove. They have found what is not supposed to be there. They have found a huge outcropping of granite!
So the building “draftsman” and I meet with the contractor about finishing the job and he says that he can do it, but that as to price, all bets are off because the two men with a wheelbarrow, shovels, and a pickax is now an air compressor, a jackhammer, three wheelbarrows, a larger truck, and six men!
We negotiated and came up with a fair method to compensate the contractor that would give us a fair price. And I loved the negotiation. That was fun!
Another time I hired a company to do some repairs to the walls in one area of our older building. They sent two guys who were dressed in old T-shirts. I figured that they would do their work, mind their business, and break for lunch. I was wrong.
These two birds decided to take a little time-off to see the sights in the rest of the building, specifically the women. I had no idea of this until I got a call from the building security office to tell me that they had two drywall guys in custody and would I please come and get them.
When I arrived I found these two guys in ratty T-shirts sitting in the security office under the watchful eye of the chief of security. I asked what had happened.
He told me that they were apprehended on the third floor of the building (their work area was on the fifth floor) causing a nuisance by hitting on every woman that they found! What made it funny was that they were speaking Latino Spanish to the women and no one understood what they were saying! “¿Qué estás haciendo, mujercita?” did not get them very far!
I don't speak enough Spanish to order a meal at a Mexican restaurant but those guys sure understood me when I motioned for them to follow me.
I took them back up to my office and called their boss. He came down to get them and we had a good chat about providing uniforms for his workers and telling them to leave the women alone, even if they do think that they are muy guapo!
I know that there are other funny things that happened to me at work but I just can't recall them right now. Maybe I will get lucky and they will return by next Friday.
✿ ڰۣ❤In Loving Light from the Fairy Lady❤ڰۣ✿